Between May and September 2012, Jerry Spagnoli photographed the myriad faces of people transfixed by an enormous electronic billboard above New York’s Times Square. Regard, the result of this ambitious documentary undertaking, is a visual chronicle presenting almost 500 faces of great cultural and individual diversity.
The particular billboard in question was set up to periodically display an image of the crowd beneath it. Pedestrians would wander by, absorbed in their thoughts, before noticing the billboard and pausing to search for their images. On finding themselves, many marked the occasion with an obligatory selfie. Spagnoli recorded these processes and the emotions of expectation and delight they elicit, creating an intricate collective portrait.
For me the situation was compelling and complex. The light in Times Square is particularly beautiful at that time of the year. The expressions on people’s faces were open and unselfconscious, as they all looked up towards that great light in the sky. Jerry Spagnoli